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The US embassy recently awarded eight Cambodians the opportunity to study in America for one or two semesters through the Undergraduate Exchange Program (UGRAD) (more information at www.irex.org). One of the spots was given to 22-year-old Chea Chandany, who is this week’s student of the week.
With a solid academic record and long list of social activities, the scholarship winner has already fulfilled her dream of studying abroad, but continues to push herself for more.
“I always stick with my goals and prepare myself for success,” said Chea Chandany, who plans to major in financial management in her semester in the US.
This will be her third time studying abroad, with her first two experiences in Malaysia and Hong Kong. She won a place in a workshop for up-and-coming trainers in March of 2009 in Malaysia, and in July she won a trip to Hong Kong through the Asia Institute for Political Economics, funded by the Fund for American Studies.
“I’m delighted with my achievements and my efforts,” said Chea Chandany, who studies at two universities as a senior in English education at the Institute of Foreign Languages and a junior in financing and banking at Pannasastra University.
When asked how she won these scholarships, Chea Chandany said, “I know my goals and I have built up my credentials by maintaining a good study record, staying involved with social work and improving my English abilities, which is the most important requirement for studying abroad.”
She added: “I never say no to a problem. I always smile, do more research or consult with lecturers and friends to produce a positive result.”
Chea Chandany said that she is not a perfect student, but she tries to keep her GPA (grade point average) above 3.50 out of 4.00, which is good enough for most of the programs that interest her.
Besides her academic work, Chandany has been involved in extracurricular activities. She is a vice president of Pannasastra University Toastmaster Club – a club aimed at improving public speaking and leadership skills – where she is responsible for managing programs.
Recently, she won third place in her club’s humorous speech contest. Her activities as a volunteer have also helped her greatly in winning all of her scholarships.
“Going to the US in the next two months will be a good chance for me to experience new things. I wish to get more scholarships to pursue my studies abroad, especially for my master’s degree,” said Chea Chandany.